A pile of manure for fertilizing crops

A History of Human Waste as Fertilizer

In eighteenth century Japan, human excrement played a vital role in agriculture. Can similar solutions help manage waste today?
Sailor Moon mid transformation

Selling Toys with the Sailor Moon Transformation Sequence

From her nails painted glossy red to the tiara appearing on her forehead, if you time it out, the transformation in Sailor Moon lasts 40 seconds.
A female office worker holding her foot in pain

What Is the #KuToo Movement?

Japanese women are protesting the widespread policy of mandatory high heels at work.
Inside a Foreign Restaurant by Utagawa Yoshikazu, 1860

Restaurants Built Modern Japan’s Identity

In the early 20th century, Japan's embrace of exotic cuisines helped strengthen its connections both to China and to the West.
Asian small-clawed otters

Exotic Animals Don’t Make Good Pets

They might be cute, but animals like otters are difficult to take care of. Plus, there are ecological concerns inherent in removing them from the wild.
Marcus Garvey

Black Radicalism’s Complex Relationship with Japanese Empire

Black intellectuals in the U.S.—from W. E. B. Du Bois to Marcus Garvey—had strong and divergent opinions on Japanese Empire.
Japanese elderly prison

When the Elderly Poor Are Left Behind

In Japan, elderly people are committing crimes just so they can go to jail and feel cared for. A similar situation has played out in India, where the elderly have been left out of traditional social support networks.
Samurai battle on old vintage Japanese screen

Whatever Happened to the Samurai?

Warriors rarely give up their power, but the samurai of Japan dwindled away rapidly after the Meiji Restoration and the modernization of the country.
Kimono pattern

The Surprising History of the Kimono

The kimono that the world associates with Japan was actually created in the late-nineteenth century as a cultural identifier.
Tokyo commuters

Japan’s Solution to Loneliness: Virtual Wives

Japan has always been at the forefront of technological advancement. With a lonely and over-taxed workforce, the country has now introduced the robot wife.